School growing pains

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Queenstown’s mayor says as many as three new primary schools might be needed to cater for the resort’s skyrocketing growth.

But the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) keeping mum on what, if any, plans are in the pipeline.

Mayor Jim Boult says he met with ministry officials this month to get on the same page when it comes to population projections.

“For example, Hanley’s Farm, Jack’s Point, and further south of the Kawarau, there’s no school, and potentially in the next 10 years there could be somewhere like 2000-3000 houses down there.”

He says that could mean more than one school could be needed in that area to cater to those households.

Then there’s Ladies Mile, he says.

“If NZTA does finally get our traffic issues sorted, there’s further development proposed for Ladies Mile.

“You can’t send them all to Shotover.”

Shotover Primary’s roll has grown five-fold since it opened three years ago.

MoE’s previously confirmed it’s looking to buy land for a new primary school in the Queenstown area, but has repeatedly refused to say where.

Boult says he also hasn’t been told where they’re looking.

In a statement, MoE’s ‘deputy secretary sector enablement and support’ Katrina Casey says “any decisions about new schools and developments will be announced in due course”.

She doesn’t address a question on whether any feasibility studies or business cases are being worked on regarding new schools in the Wakatipu.

“Our job is to manage school infrastructure by planning for growth and population shifts both in the short-term and much further out as well.

“To do this, we consider population projections, local council information and our own capacity and enrolment data.

“We are currently working with the Queenstown Lakes District Council to plan for future growth.”